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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Russia will choose your Government and, by implication, will control your
policy.' Those are two different interpretations and we must face them . . .
" The second thing which I think we have to realise in our political nego-
tiations with Russia is that we must not shirk plain speaking ... If a criti-
cism lies against His Majesty's Government—and I do not know that it does—
I believe it is that they have used a sense of delicacy in negotiation which
simply is not understood by a people whose diplomatic methods are, by
comparison5 crude and direct. May I give an illustration or two ? . . . Let
me take the House back to Teheran. Months before the Prime Minister,
President Roosevelt and Stalin met at Teheran, Russo-Polish relations had
been in a state of acute tension. An expectant world, after the Conference,
received an impression of harmony. c We are friends/ said the communique
c in fact, in spirit and in purpose/ and the reaction of the world to those
words was not that this was an effervescent friendship such as naturally
follows after good-wine and good dinners, but was something more per-
" What was Marshal Stalin's reaction ? He went home, and, within a
few weeks, there followed an ultimatum to Poland demanding territory, and
declaring that this could not be, except for a few details, a matter of nego-
tiation. It seems to me that this action is capable of only two interpretations j
either Russia's reading of the Atlantic Charter is fundamentally different
from our own, or Russia feels herself strong enough, when it suits her own
purpose, to go her own way. I am putting those two possible interpre-
tations and I cannot see any other. Did the Prime Minister or the Foreign
Secretary tell Marshal Stalin at Teheran that this question of the method
of conduct of relationships between Russia and Poland would be looked upon
as a test case in this country, or did they not ? If they did not, then the
mistake can be rectified. If they did, and in spite of it Marshal Stalin went
his own way, it is time that this House knew about it in order that we might
assess the implication . . .
cc . . . One other illustration—and I shall cut these short because it is
touchy ground. Many months ago, in the winter of last year, notice was
given in the Moscow State-controlled Press, of the formation of a Union of
Polish Patriots, a Committee of Poles to look after Polish interests, and it was
perfectly clear at that time to anyone who understood the Russian technique
that this was the first move towards undermining the authority of the Polish
Government in London. Many weeks passed before the Foreign Secretary
in this House, perfectly rightly, reiterated our support of the Polish Govern-
ment. From that time on, the Soviet Government have known that both
ourselves and the Americans recognise the Polish Government in London,
but have refused to listen to our representations . . .
" Let me take this latest case. I am thinking of the support given to the
Poles in Warsaw. We do not know the facts, but I think it is worth noting
that very little account was taken by the Russian Government of the
representations made in private, and it was only when puDiic clamour
reached such a stage in this country and America that it could not be stifled,
that the Russians began to take notice and send in supplies. This is the
dilemma which seems to me, all through this series of events, to face us.
Either these incidents are a series of rebuffs from one great Ally to another,
or there is genuine misunderstanding ..."
Other relevant extracts from the Debate were :—
Mr* McGovern (Ind. Labour) : " Russia has a tremendous amount of
good feeling in this country, which is just in the balance at this moment, and
it will depend largely upon her attitude to her small neighbouring States